NU announces free tuition for families at or below median income level

LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) -- On Friday, the University of Nebraska announced the NebraskaPromise program.

The program allows for students whose families are at or below the median income level in Nebraska, which is $60,000, to attend the University of Nebraska tuition-free.

You must be a Nebraska resident, a full-time undergraduate student, and maintain a 2.5 GPA in order to qualify.

“This newly introduced program will impact over 1,000 Nebraska students. It will take affect next year for new students, as well as students already attending the university,” said NU Regent Tim Clare.

Clare went on to say the NU system continues to explore options and opportunities to make higher education as affordable and accessible as possible.

More programs will be announced in the future. For more information, you can visit the University’s Nebraska Promise website.

Impact of COVID-19 on NU system

The COVID-19 pandemic is already having an economic impact on the University of Nebraska.

Clare said the NU system is projecting a shortfall of roughly $50 million this fiscal year.

“That number is likely to grow. We’ve taken some immediate steps to meet the challenge,” he said.

NU will hold back 3% of spending this quarter. The university has also instituted a hiring freeze unless the openings are mission-critical.

Clare said they are also reviewing capital projects to determine if timelines can or should be changed.

"This can be a game changer for a lot of families, and this is not just for our students and for our families, but for the whole state," President Ted Carter said.

Carter said he sees how some could be skeptical about the program and wants to reassure people that the University is covering it.

"We're not asking for more money from the legislature because of this." Carter said. "We just know that we can reemphasize some programs and put emphasis on our students, and be able to afford this."

In a time of much uncertainty, Carter is certain about this program. The fall application deadline for UNL is June 1, where UNO and UNK's are August 24.

You can apply at: https://nebraska.edu/nebraska-promise